Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015 Opens May 23
The exhibition features site-specific contemporary sculptures by 24 Boston-area artists who found fresh inspiration at the former summer home, studio and gardens of noted American sculptor Daniel Chester French
Stockbridge, Mass. (May 19, 2015) – East meets west at Chesterwood this season in the innovative, site-specific sculpture exhibition “Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015”. The temporary installation, on view daily at Chesterwood from May 23 to Oct. 12, features new works by 24 members and alumni of Boston Sculptors Gallery, based in Boston’s South End. The striking artworks in the show represent a diverse range of media and styles, created in response to sources of inspiration found by the artists at Chesterwood, the former summer home, studio and gardens of Daniel Chester French, America’s foremost sculptor of public monuments. The exhibition has been supported, in part, by a grant from the Artist’s Resource Trust.
“We invited the Boston Sculptors Gallery to organize an exhibition inspired by Daniel Chester French’s life and work as well as Chesterwood’s landscape that French designed himself. Twenty-four artists from the Gallery took up the challenge and visited Chesterwood several times over the course of a year as their ideas for three-dimensional work in a variety of media and scale took shape,” said Executive Director Donna Hassler.”
“As sculptors, one of our tasks is to imagine and re-imagine the connection between earth and sky. Chesterwood offers the perfect landscape and setting for this,” said Boston Sculptors Gallery co-founder Murray Dewart.
Chesterwood is notably one of the earliest venues in the United States to successively showcase large-scale abstract, conceptual and figurative works in an outdoor setting. Since 1978, the works of more than 500 emerging and established sculptors have been exhibited at Chesterwood, including Glenda Goodacre, Sol LeWitt, Albert Paley, George Rickey and Richard Stankiewicz. Chesterwood’s annual sculpture exhibition commemorates Daniel Chester French’s distinguished life and career and provides an important platform for contemporary American sculptors.
“We are thrilled to bring our work to Chesterwood and to being a part of the incredible array of arts-focused places in the Berkshires,” said Boston Sculptors Gallery artist Nancy Winship Milliken, who co-organized the exhibition with colleague Andy Zimmermann and Chesterwood’s executive director.
During the past year, the exhibiting artists visited Chesterwood to select locations for their sculptures—choices that included the French family estate’s home, verdant lawns, formal gardens, bucolic woodland paths and French’s newly restored studio—and have created works in reaction to experiencing this historic and picturesque site. As a result, some artists branched into the use of new materials and sculptural techniques. For others it was an opportunity to bring their indoor studio practices into a fresh and inspirational environment. The exhibition represents a rich and diverse variety of sculptural languages in a wide range of materials including stone, steel, wood, bronze, fiberglass, plastic and paper.
Participating artists include Elizabeth Alexander, Caroline Bagenal, Kim Bernard, Murray Dewart, Donna Dodson, Rosalind Driscoll, Laura Evans, Sally Fine, Peter DeCamp Haines, Mags Harries, Niho Kozuru (alumni), David Lang, Michelle Lougee, Nancy Winship Milliken, Andy Moerlein, Eric Sealine, Nancy Selvage, Marilu Swett, The Myth Makers (a joint collaboration of Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein), Andrea Thompson, Nora Valdez, Leslie Wilcox, Andy Zimmermann and Christina Zwart.
An artist’s reception for “Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015” will be held on Saturday, June 27, from 4 to 7 p.m. The event will include walking tours with artists whose works are on view. Admission is $10 for Chesterwood members and $20 for non-members.
In conjunction with the exhibition, artists from Boston Sculptors Gallery will present “Saturday Art Programs”, a family-friendly series of art tours, demonstrations and workshops, including talks about their work in relation to Chesterwood and the surrounding Berkshire landscape, from June 6 through Sept. 12 at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The programs are free with admission.
Alongside Chesterwood’s “Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015”, the Concord Art Association in Concord, Mass., is presenting an exhibition of the work of 24 Boston Sculptors Gallery artists in the exhibition “Boston Sculptors in Concord”. The show runs from June 18 through Aug. 15 and is curated by renowned sculptor Joseph Wheelwright.
In an interesting twist, Daniel Chester French was the first president of the Concord Art Association’s board of directors in 1922. During French’s tenure, the 60 painters and 18 sculptors exhibiting at the then-named Concord Art Centre were many of the period’s most significant American artists, including Claude Monet, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, Thomas Dewing, Robert Henri, Frank W. Benson, Cecilia Beaux, Laura Coombs Hills, Alexander Stirling Calder, George Bellows, Willard L. Metcalf…and Daniel Chester French.
About Boston Sculptors Gallery
Founded in 1992 by 18 prominent Boston-area artists to present and promote innovative, challenging sculpture and installations, Boston Sculptors Gallery is the only sculptors’ organization in the United States that maintains its own exhibition space. The cooperative has presented more than 250 exhibitions and has supported the work of 58 sculptors in 48 states and 36 countries.
Boston Sculptors Gallery articulates, challenges, and promotes the role of sculpture in the public sphere, in communities, and in the lives of individuals. In addition to the continuing program of exhibits in the gallery in Boston’s South End, the organization has presented exhibitions of its sculptors in other venues and countries including “Ovid’s Girls – Overlaps and Undercurrents – Boston/Berlin” (Berlin and Memmingen, Germany, 2014), “Visions/Visiones” (Cusco, Peru, 2013), “Convergence” on the 14-acre Christian Science Plaza (Boston, 2013), “Re-Shaping Reality” at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center (Vt., 2010), and at the Fitchburg Art Museum (Mass., 2007). For more information, see www.bostonsculptors.com
About Concord Art Association
Since its’ founding in 1917, the Concord Art Association promotes and advances contemporary art through exhibitions, lectures and classes. It also maintains a small permanent collection of art produced by leading early 20th century artists. For more information, see www.concordart.org
Chesterwood, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is the summer home, studio and gardens of America’s foremost sculptor of public monuments, Daniel Chester French (1850-1931). French is best known for his sculptures of the Minute Man (1875) and the seated figure of Abraham Lincoln (1922) for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.
Situated on 122 acres in the idyllic hamlet of Glendale near Stockbridge, Mass., the property and its buildings were donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation by French’s only child Margaret French Cresson (1889-1973). Chesterwood is recognized as both a National Historic Landmark and a Massachusetts Historic Landmark. For more information, see www.chesterwood.org.